Carbonetti Guitars

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Jimmy Carbonetti’s career in guitars began under the tutelage of Giorgio Gomelsky, who as a promoter and manager  was instrumental in launching the careers of both the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. Carbonetti met Giorgio at the Red Door in NYC where Carbonetti’s band – The Subjects – rehearsed. Cobra then introduced himself to – and subsequently worked for – Dan Courtenay, owner of legendary Chelsea Guitars. Dan and store manager Doug Myer (Mountain Cat Guitars) were – and still are – known for their high-quality, vintage guitar trading.

Carbonetti was fascinated by Dan’s vintage guitars. He felt inspired by their histories, their war stories, and their rugged, natural beauty. When Doug Myer moved on to 30th Street Guitars, he brought Carbonetti with him. At 30th St. Carbonetti began apprenticing under owner and expert repairman, Matt Brewster (Rust Guitars). Carbonetti went to the shop on his days off to work and learn. His obsession with naturally worn, vintage guitars blossomed as he worked with Matt to “age” guitars. Carbonetti did this for a couple of years, and built his own list of clients.  One of those clients was named Eli.

Eli had been gigging in bar bands for about 15 years, and had accumulated a decent collection of pre-owned guitars and amps. As a client of Matt Brewster, Eli dropped a Strat off at 30th Street for a set-up. After getting the guitar back and playing it for a few days, he noticed that if felt different than his other guitars. The strings had a “spongy” feel, and the guitar was super-easy to play. He went back to 30th Street and asked Matt to meet the tech who set-up the guitar. Out walked Carbonetti.

Eli was hot for a Les Paul Junior, and Matt had a barely-used ’57 Gibson Custom Shop reissue on the floor. “Cool guitar, but way too clean”, Eli thought. So he asked Carbonetti to age it for him. Then Eli brought Carbonetti a new Fender Custom Shop Tele Custom to age.

Well, that’s about where this story ends – cause when Eli got that Tele back from Carbonetti, he said, “Dude – we gotta talk!”

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